HONG KONG, 9 JUNE, 2017(HK Golfer News Wire) - Malaysia’s Ainil Johani Abu Bakar stormed to a magnificent 65 to take the overnight lead at the 2017 EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open. Following close behind is Thailand’s Supamas Sangchan, who shot 66 on the Old Course at Fanling.
Tiffany Chan Tsz-ching recovered from a minor blip on the front nine to card a par 72
Chan, the tournament’s defending champion, parred the first six holes with some solid putting but the University of Southern California graduate struggled over the next two holes and found herself facing an uphill battle at three-over at the half way mark.
However, with a successful Rio Olympics campaign, and decent results at the NCAA Championships over the last 12 months behind her, the 23-year-old’s big match experience showed as she powered her way through the back nine to finish her round in confident style.
The home favourite said:
“It is always better to have trouble at the beginning than at the end. I had a little trouble on holes seven and eight but we (caddie Steven Lam) worked it out pretty well on the back night with three birdies.”
Abu Bakar, who is playing the tournament for the second time, is having a much better experience on the Hong Kong Golf Club’s Old Course compared to last year when the 27-year-old didn’t make the cut. With eight birdies, four each on the front and back nine, her only blemish today was an unlucky bogey on the third.
Abu Bakar added:
“I putted good today, and made a few out of my comfort zone, as otherwise I wouldn’t have made a 65. It is more humid here than at home. Normally I don’t use umbrellas or towels, but today I used both. This year is so different to last year, when it was so wet and I didn’t make the cut.”
Thai Supamas, who is playing at the EFG Hong Kong Ladies Open for the second time and who is third on the CLPGA Order of Merit this season, is one stroke behind, with China’s Li Jia-yun, and Chinese Taipei’s Pan Yen-ling in tied-third another shot behind.